UN General Assembly pays tribute to Sheikh Khalifa

UN flag lowered to half-staff as mark of respect

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The 193 member states of the UN General Assembly have honoured Sheikh Khalifa.

Tributes were paid before the UN body convened a meeting, state news agency Wam said on Tuesday.

“At this time of mourning, let us take inspiration from the prudence and patience His Highness demonstrated throughout his life,” said UN secretary general Antonio Guterres.

“Let us recall his advice that preparing for the future — near or far — starts today, not tomorrow.”

The meeting was chaired by Abdulla Shahid, president of the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Maldives.

“With the late president’s strategic foresight and political wisdom, complemented by a healthy ambition and genuine desire to achieve socio-economic progress, the UAE has today evolved into an aviation, finance, education, renewable energy, technology, culture and tourism hub,” Mr Shahid said.

Linda Thomas Greenfield, permanent representative of the US to the UN, and representatives of Mauritius, Peru, Denmark, Oman, the Czech Republic, Kuwait, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia also expressed their condolences and spoke highly about Sheikh Khalifa, especially his humanitarian work.

At the meeting, Lana Nusseibeh, the UAE's permanent representative to the UN, expressed her gratitude to those who offered their condolences to the government and the people of the Emirates.

“Sheikh Khalifa was a wise leader and a symbol of peace. He was a role model for our generation with his humility and humanity,” she said.

“His achievements will serve as a foundation for generations to build upon as we continue our journey under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the leader who will guide the UAE on its ambitious journey of development and prosperity, with the support of the rulers of the Emirates.”

Before the meeting, the UN flag was lowered to half-staff in tribute to Sheikh Khalifa.

On May 18, the UN Security Council opened its meeting by honouring Sheikh Khalifa with a moment of silence.

Sheikh Khalifa died on May 13, aged 73.

Dozens of leaders and senior officials travelled to Abu Dhabi to pay tribute to the leader, who had served as president since 2004.

Updated: May 24, 2022, 3:35 PM